The daily business briefing: January 9, 2023
Tens of thousands travel as China fully reopens borders, Goldman Sachs to cut about 3,200 jobs, and more
Thousands travel as China fully reopens borders
Tens of thousands of people traveled into and out of China on Sunday as the country fully reopened its borders for the first time since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis three years ago. Tourists from China, the most populous country in the world, spent $250 billion abroad annually before the pandemic, and many travel operators fell into bankruptcy when Beijing imposed strict border controls to fight the spread of COVID-19. But many countries are worried about the timing of the opening, which comes as China struggles with its worst coronavirus surge yet and lifts its zero-COVID restrictions. The decision to allow freer movement across the country's borders will allow foreign executives to return to oversee existing and new investments in China.
Goldman Sachs to cut 3,200 jobs
Goldman Sachs plans to cut 3,200 jobs this week in one of its biggest rounds of cuts ever, Bloomberg reported Sunday. The process starts mid-week, according to a Bloomberg source with knowledge of the matter. About a third of the positions will be in the investment bank's core trading and banking units. A spokesperson for Goldman Sachs declined to comment. Goldman Sachs is cutting deeper than rivals as U.S. economists warn of a looming recession. The company has increased its staff by 34 percent to more than 49,000 since late 2018 under CEO David Solomon. Later in January, the bank will announce annual bonuses, which are expected to be down about 40 percent, Reuters reported.
Cargo ship refloated after running aground in Suez Canal
The Suez Canal Authority said that four tugboats had freed a cargo ship carrying corn that went aground early Monday in the Egyptian waterway. Adm. Ossama Rabei, head of the authority, said the Marshall Islands-flagged MV Glory came to a halt in the canal, a crucial shipping channel, due to a technical failure, but traffic was restored after the tug crews refloated it five hours later. Fifty-one vessels are expected to pass through on Monday. The canal has seen worse incidents. In March 2021, the massive Panama-flagged container ship Ever Given crashed into the bank of a one-lane stretch and blocked the waterway for six days, holding up $9 billion in global trade daily.
Stock futures inch up after 2023's 1st big rally
U.S. stock futures edged higher early Monday after the December jobs report released Friday helped trigger the year's first big rally. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.3 percent at 6:30 a.m. ET. S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were up 0.4 percent. All three of the main U.S. indexes gained more than 2 percent on Friday after the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy added 223,000 jobs in December, slightly more than expected, but wage inflation slowed, boosting hope that the Federal Reserve's aggressive interest rate hikes were having the desired effect of easing inflation, which could let the central bank end its rate increases sooner than feared.
'M3GAN' exceeds expectations to become 1st box office hit of 2023
M3GAN exceeded expectations with a $30.2 million box office haul in North America during its opening weekend, trailing only blockbuster Avatar: The Way of Water, which crossed the half-billion mark just over three weeks after its debut. M3GAN, which The New York Times described as "a campy PG-13 horror movie starring a mean-girl robot," received 94 percent positive reviews, according to Rotten Tomatoes. The Universal/Blumhouse/Atomic Monster film got a boost from an aggressive and creative marketing campaign that included a battle between an account attributed to M3GAN and one controlled by another terrifying big-screen doll, Chucky.